I can’t stop thinking about these problems
All thoughts become feelings because we personalize them. Thinking this is mine, and how this affects me, in this way. A prime example is when someone is angry at you. If mindful, we can notice our physical body reacting immediately. But the truth is, our mind reacted first and then sent signals to the body as a response. And our mind does this because we make it personal, and about us. And when someone is angry at you, thoughts of fear, flight, regret, responsibility and sadness all well up in an instant. The body then responds with an increased heart rate, tightening of our muscles, labored breathing etc.
But what if we could see that this is not ours? The other persons anger is not our anger, and without attaching to that, there is no need to respond mentally or physically. Simply by observing that there is anger.
The same thing applies to sadness, with a good example being the tragedies that we all read about in the news. Truly, every minute seems to offer another news story about fires, murders, rapes, floods, starvation and wars.
And this is only to name a few of things we may read or see on TV that easily become personalized and invoke unskilful responses.
This does not mean that we need to disconnect from the World and become numb to suffering. In actuality it means that we increase our awareness and acceptance that there is suffering, with more than enough to go around. And with this, we can gain thew wisdom to understand that we cannot control this World and only strive to become more loving towards all beings in an unconditional way. You see, physical suffering is inescapable in this life. But mental suffering is completely optional. The mental part we take-on by our own doing, and by clinging to the delusion that we can control this life. When it is clear that we cannot control our own bodies and physical sufferings; like sickness, aging and death.
Perhaps for many of us, by attaching to others suffering we find a way to avoid facing the reality of our own existence. Seeing how fragile each of us are, and how helpless we are in so many ways. But there is a greater understanding to be had by seeing that with inner peace, we awaken a limitless potential for loving-kindness and compassion that can create ripples through time. Ripples that are likely a culmination of past kamma and the development of current kamma that we generate. Each of us are our thoughts, and thoughts become words and actions. This is our kamma, and this is what we have until the ending of kamma. The point at which we no longer generate light, dark or neutral, but understand the deepest truth of this life. And while I am not at this point myself, I can begin to understand that it is by personalizing all the I see and hear, that I will produce kamma of one type or the other.
But as an understanding of no-self (anatta) becomes more clear to me, I can begin to let go of the delusion that everything is about me. Because clearly we can all see that it is not. Today, perhaps you will see that it is also not about you.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.